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tv   [untitled]    February 8, 2012 12:18am-12:48am PST

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>> when stephen de staebler
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died, he was working on one of the biggest shows of his career, matter and spirit. it is a retrospective look at the many faces and faces of the life of an innovative artist from the california clay movement. stephen de staebler's developed in an area dominated by abstract expression. even his peers saw his form. >> he was able to find a middle ground in which he balanced the
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ideas of human figuration and representation with abstraction and found it even more meaningful to negotiate that duality. >> another challenge was to create art from a meeting that was typically viewed as kraft material. his transforming moment was an accident in the studio. an oversized vertical sculpture began to collapse under its own weight and spread onto the floor. he sought a new tradition before him, landscape sculpture. >> you feel this extended human form underneath the surface of the earth struggling to emerge. eventually, it does. it articulates his idea that the earth is like flesh, and the archaeology and geology in the earth are like the bones, the structure of the earth. this tied in with his idea of mother earth, with the sense that we are all tied to nature
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and the earth. >> a half dozen bay area museums and private collectors loan the massive sculptures to the museum for its matter and spirit retrospective. but the most unusual contributions came from stephen himself. a wall of autobiographical masks and hence from the early decades of his private study. >> he had one of the most beautiful studios i have ever been in. when you walk in, your first impression is of these monumental figures that you see in the exhibition, but if you went into the back corner of his studio, there was a series of shells with these diminutive figures. he told me, these are the heart of my studio. these little, and held intimate study is that he referred to as his sketchbook. a painter might make drawings. stephen de staebler made miniature sculptures. >> during the 1970's, he was
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inspired by the monuments of egypt. he assembled a large rocks of clay into figures that resembled the ancient kings and queens. he credited a weathered appearance by rubbing glazes' into the clay while still wet. the misfires from his killed were brought in his backyard in his berkeley home. he called it his boneyard. in the last year of his life, he dug up the artifacts from his own history, and the bones were rearranged, in the were slimmer figures with wings. >> even if you knew nothing about his life or career, you sensed there was an artist dealing with this fundamental issue of life and death, the cake, netting back together, and you feel there is an attempt to deal with mortality and immortality. there is a seeking of spiritual meaning in an existential stage. >> during his 50-year career, stephen de staebler worked to
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form and out of the clay of the ground and give it a breath of life. matter and spirit gathers the many expressions of his meditations. and gives the viewer and insight into the artist's life. learn more about the retrospective on line at >> sanrio famous for the designs for hello kitty. i thought i would try to make it as cute as possible. that way people might want to read the stories. then people might be open to learn about the deities and the culture. ♪ they reached out to make about five or six years ago because of
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the book published. they appreciated that my work was clearly driven from my research and investigation. after i contributed my artwork, the museum was really beside themselves. they really took to it. the museum reached out to me to see if i would be interested in my own space inside the museum. i tell them that would be a dream come true. it is the classical, beautiful indian mythology through the lens of modern design and illustration and storytelling. they're all of these great sketch as i did for the maharajah exhibition. i get a lot of feedback on my artwork and books. they complement. they say how original the work is. i am the first person to say that this is so derived from all of this great artwork and
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storytelling of the past. the research i put into all of my books and work is a product of how we do things that a-- at pixar. sometimes you will see him depicted monkey-like or as superman. i wanted to honor his monkey coloring. i decided to paint him white with a darker face. it is nice to breathe new life into it in a way that is reverent and honors the past but also lets them breathe and have fun. it is almost a european notion to bring these symbols and icons from southeast asia. they decorate their deities.
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it was a god they interacted with every day in a human way. the most important thing has been to create work that is appealing to me. i want to see vishnu to pick did in a modern way. it dawned on me by reinterpreting the deities in a way that is modern and reverent to the history, i am building a bridge for young and old audiences to make friends with the culture and these icons to learn their stories. ♪ >> i think a lot of times we look a community and we say, there is this one and this one, and we all have our own

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